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The American Revolution
The first shots of American independence—from the words on paper through the exchange of gunfire—all began in Massachusetts. And the militia who responded to the first alarm came from throughout New England where they participated in the first true battle of the war at Bunker Hill.
The American Revolution includes the following institutions and a brief description of their program offerings.
American Antiquarian SocietyPerhaps no single event is more central to the history and culture of the United States than the American Revolution. This workshop covers the main events and trends from the beginning of the imperial crisis in the 1760s through the signing of the Treaty of Paris ending the war in 1783. A prominent historian provides an overview of the main concepts and events including the political philosophies that were the basis for American dissent and the cultural and social differences between the American colonies and Great Britain. This opening lecture also includes a broad summary of the main battles and events of the war. Individual components outlined below provide for a hands-on approach to the examination of a wide variety of actual documents and images.
Eighteenth Century Print CultureThe world of colonial printers and their impact on the American Revolution is examined by comparing a contemporary newspaper with the May 3, 1775 issue of the Massachusetts Spy. This issue contains a first-hand account of the battles of Lexington and Concord. This workshop also does a close reading of two broadsides from a Loyalist and Whig perspective on the first battles of the war. The content, literary style and publishing practices common to all eighteenth century printers are also revealed.
Colonial Printers and the Spread of Colonial UnityHow colonial printers functioned as business people and their transformation from impartial craftsmen to partisan rebels is explored through a series of readings from newspapers, broadsides and pamphlets. The crucial role printers played in both fermenting rebellion and building a pan colony coalition is revealed in the voices of John Adams, Isaiah Thomas, Thomas Paine, John Hancock, Thomas Jefferson and others.
Five Battles of the American RevolutionThe events at Lexington and Concord, Bunker Hill, Saratoga, Valley Forge and Yorktown are examined through eyewitness accounts, images, poems, newspaper articles, maps, and early histories. Participants examine a wide variety of materials both primary and secondary to construct their own understandings of the events and to comprehend how people have construed the meanings of these events over time.
Drawing Us To WarThis session is designed specifically for elementary teachers and examines a series of images that detail specific events from the Stamp Act crisis through the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Participants examine each image and then put all of them in chronological order. The full group discussion that follows this exercise describes each image in detail.
The Deerfield Teacher's Center of the Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association
Revolutionary PeopleDesigned for grades 3-12 educators, Revolutionary People explores key events of the Imperial Crisis and the American Revolution and their impact on a typical New England community many miles from Boston, while also helping participants to place those events in their broader historical context. The 3-hour program includes: "The Tea Tax Tempest," a hands-on workshop using a large variety of primary sources (objects, images and documents) to explore and place in context American non-importation movements of the 1760s and '70s; "Liberty Pole Capers," an interactive workshop in which participants use primary sources documenting an actual incident—the cutting down of the Deerfield Liberty Pole—to create a Reader's Theater; and "Faces of Revolution: Patriots and Loyalists of Deerfield," a walking tour of the Old Deerfield Street. The full-day program includes all of the 3-hour program elements described above as well as: "The Colonial Tavern," an interactive program offered in the tavern room of the reproduction Old Indian House; and "Shays' Rebellion and the Making of a Nation," a primary-source-based exploration of a crucial moment in our nation's founding when the survival of the American experiment in government was neither destined nor assured. For groups wishing to arrange an evening program, PVMA's Teachers. Center also offers for an additional fee a Tavern Night which includes a period meal, period music (both instrumental and vocal), and colonial dance instruction.
Rhode Island Historical Society
Cents and Sensibility: Rhode Island and the Shaping of a New RepublicAs a center of maritime trade, Rhode Island merchants were keenly aware and deeply invested in Britain's taxes and laws. Men like John Brown were well known to British officers on revenue schooners looking to inspect cargo and collect their taxes. In an event that predated the Boston Tea Party, under the cover of dark, merchants, captains, and even enslaved persons from Providence, boarded a grounded schooner, shot the captain, and burned the ship. Come hear about Rhode Island's role in the fight for independence, and their continued battle to create the Bill of Rights to protect their fellow citizens from future tyranny.
Historic New England
A Revolution in Dorchester
Examine daily family and community life and major events of the Revolutionary War period like the Boston Massacre and the Boston Tea Party through the journal of Colonel Samuel Pierce of Dorchester, Massachusetts and workshops and tour of the Pierce House.
Examine daily life and major events of the Revolutionary War period through the lives of three members of the family of Revolutionary War leader Colonel Josiah Quincy. Experience workshops and a tour of the Quincy House.